Autoplay was introduced to garner more video views on social media, and while the feature is typically innocuous, if annoying, it took a disturbing turn August 26 as a video of the shootings of two journalists spread across the web, Facebook and Twitter.
Users became unwitting viewers as the video, taken and uploaded by the gunman, auto-played in their feeds. This isn't, unfortunately, the only unsettling video to make it onto News Feeds and Timelines in recent months.
If you'd like to disable autoplay for videos on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, we've gathered up the various ways to do so below.
How to disable Facebook video autoplay on a computer
To turn off video autoplay on Facebook from your computer, click the upside down triangle on the top right corner of the page and go to Settings. Select Videos, located on the bottom of the list of selections on the left-hand side (there's a film icon next to it). In the Auto-Play Videos section, click the button that says Default, and choose Off. The selection will save automatically. Turning autoplay back on is simply a matter of selecting On.
How to disable Facebook video autoplay on Android
If you have an Android phone or tablet, head into your device's Facebook app and select the 3-line icon. From here, tap App Settings. Tap Video Auto-play, and from here choose Off. If you want to change your autoplay settings back, follow the same steps but select On or Wi-Fi only.
Facebook notes that if you don't see Video Auto-play settings on your phone, log out of the app and then log back in. The option should show up in App Settings after doing so.
How to disable Facebook video autoplay on iPhone or iPad
Go into the Facebook app on your iPhone or iPad and select the 3-line icon. Head into Settings, and tap Videos > Autoplay. Choose Off.
Follow the same steps and select On or Wi-Fi only to re-enable video autoplay.
How to disable Twitter video autoplay on a computer
Go to twitter.com and select your profile icon. Choose Settings from the drop-down menu. On the page that pops up (which should be Account), head down to the Content section. Next to Video Tweets, "Video autoplay" is ticked by default. Untick it and click the "Save changes" button.
How to disable Twitter video autoplay on Android or iPhone
On your mobile device, go into the Twitter app and head to Settings. Head into the General section and select Video autoplay. Several options are provided here, including "Never play videos automatically." Choose this to turn off video autoplay.
If you would like to turn autoplay back on, you can follow these same steps and select "Use mobile data and Wi-Fi" or "Use Wi-Fi only."
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook. A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.